AF5150 – EDI – CDG

This was the first leg of 3 to get to Phoenix.  I had booked a car to pick me up which arrived on time.  I had booked the care a bit earlier than I needed, as I knew there were road works on the way; these road works didn’t cause as much of a problem as I thought they might and I arrived at Edinburgh Airport too early to check in my bags.

A cheese and ham Panini and some orange juice from Costa Coffee at the airport killed some time so I could check in.

Two check-in agents were available, one being fed passengers from the business lane.  There wasn’t much of a queue to skip here; the main line only had 3 passengers groups in it.  I was called forward and handed over my printed boarding pass and passport.  When I checked in online the system would only allow me to check in for the first two legs of the journey so I didn’t have a boarding pass for the final leg.  I asked if I could have one and the agent tried, even calling someone else, however I was instructed to collect my boarding pass from CDG.  I asked for the bags to be checked through and was reminded that I would need to collect them at Atlanta as it was my first port of entry to the US; I really don’t know why the US need to be different to every other country in the world.

I was offered a lounge pass and off I went.  Fairly recently they introduced a fast-track security lane at Edinburgh which has some fairly strict criteria to use.  Don’t assume that if you have a business ticket you can use it as between say 5:00am and 7:30am I would estimate around 90% of passengers travelling with BA are on a fully flex ticket or have premium status. This would of course defeat the purpose of a fast-track lane!  Business ticket with City Jet (or amusingly, paying for Speedy Boarding with Easy Jet) got me through so I had only one person ahead of me.  My security experience was painless.

Sky Team airlines use the Servisair lounge at Edinburgh, which is a functional although fairly tired lounge.  I had a drink in here and noticed a delay in the departure time of the flight, albeit only 15 minutes.

I went to the gate a little earlier than I needed to and was surprised to note that there were no arriving passengers on this flight – perhaps I just missed them.  I was slightly bemused to see a couple of CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) inspectors check the aircraft.  It seemed the aircraft was deemed safe and boarding was announced.  Air France can be a little inconsistent with regard to boarding however I was pleased that they had a priority lane open and invited me to board.

The flight was around 65% full in economy, a bit less in business.  Boarding was completed and we were informed that the plane would be deiced.  This added 10 minutes to our departure time.

Shortly after take off the crew prepared for the service.  The actual flight time is only around 90 minutes so there is only one service.  I was given my plastic pack (which contained little more than a sandwich and some orange juice) and was a little disappointed with the contents; I am not sure what I expect or would prefer but City Jet business food doesn’t excite me.  They offered croissants in economy, which I probably would have preferred.

As promised by the pilot we were on the ground a little more than 90 minutes after take-off.  Done be fooled though; being on the ground doesn’t mean that you have arrived.  The flight took a good 10 minutes to come to a stop on the tarmac and was met by a bus, which then took another 10 minutes, or so to get to the terminal (2E).  As you arrive in the terminal there are some rest rooms – I would suggest you consider using them as the restrooms in terminal 2E are always busy and always have a queue.  I walked up some stairs and found a transfer desk where I picked up the boarding pass for the final leg of my journey from.

The transfer process at CDG was painless; I did have to go through security again but as my next flight was departing from the same terminal it wasn’t long before I was at the gate with my next boarding pass ready.

If you are flying only to Paris then consider economy; there really is nothing about Business, which is worth paying for.  Also be are that Air France have recently done a deal with Fly Be for flights from Edinburgh to Paris so check out Fly Be for flights; your fare may be a lot cheaper.

Departure Gate: 1J

Arrival Gate: the middle of nowhere; the bus took us almost 10 minutes to reach the terminal

Aircraft: Avro RJ 11

Class: Business

Price: Business tickets start around £300, economy £69 (maybe less with Fly Be)

Departure time: 09:35

Arrival time: 12:40

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